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Shvoong Home>Books>Poetry>An Elementary School Classroom in a Slum Review

An Elementary School Classroom in a Slum

Book Review   by:Prithz9     Original Author: Stephen Spender
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In this poem, the poet has concentrated on themes such as social injustice and class inequalities.
In the first stanza, the poet describes the students in an elementary classroom of a school located in a slum. The students are all malnourished and poverty-stricken. Their hair hang around their pale, wan faces like rootless weeds, unkempt and dirty. There is a tall girl with her head weighed down due to weakness and misery. A very thin, undernourished boy watches with bulging, rat-like eyes. There is also a small boy, who has inherited a disease of twisted bones from his father. However, at the back of the class is a sweet, unnoticed boy, dreaming innocently of a squirrel’s game in a tree room, which shows that he is hopeful of a bright future.
The walls of the classroom are sour cream in colour and peppered by donations such as a poster of William Shakespeare, domed buildings in civilised cities, flowery Tyrolese valley, the world map, etc. But for these children in the slum, the pictures on the walls have no meaning. This is because their world is different from what is shown in the posters. Their futures are painted with fog, i.e., unclear and dull. Their world is just a narrow street with a lead sky (signifies sadness and misery). Their world is far from the rivers and capes in the posters.
According to the poet, all the pictures and donations are a bad example to these students. The pictures of ships, sun and love tempt them to choose the wrong path and steal. For children in such a bad condition in the slums, their time and space are foggy, miserable slums. Therefore, the maps on their walls should be blotted with huge slums and false promises should not be made.
The windows, which show these students the scene of the slum outside, close upon their lives like catacombs. So, unless a governor, inspector or visitor feels pity on these students and encourages them, these children will be doomed. Instead of making false promises, these people need to give better educational opportunities to these children so that they may have a better future.
Published: January 22, 2010   
Please Rate this Review : 1 2 3 4 5
  1. Answer   Question  :    history is theirs whose language is the sun? View All
  1. Answer   Question  :    What changes can the governor, inspector bring? ( 1 Answer ) View All
  1. Answer  :    They can motivate the children and encourage them to think out of the box. They can provide them with better opportunities to study. This will help the children in being self-confident and achieving something in their life. Friday, February 28, 2014
  1. Answer   Question  :    Where could i see a Classroom pictures of an elementary school in slum ( 1 Answer ) View All
  1. Answer  :    read the poem again :P Thursday, February 27, 2014
  1. Answer   Question  :    what are the poetic devices used> ( 1 Answer ) View All
  1. Answer  :    metaphor, simile and personification Thursday, February 27, 2014
  1. Answer   Question  :    Nice review View All
  1. Answer   Question  :    describe the children inthe slum in the poem elementary school ( 3 Answers ) View All
  1. Answer  :    weak malnourished and have lack of educations.. Saturday, February 22, 2014
  1. Answer  :    dhyeugyffydydysgddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddd3 Tuesday, January 14, 2014
  1. Answer  :    in slum school , mostly children are malnutrition some has long hair weak bones their classroom was their world Tuesday, June 04, 2013
  1. Answer   Question  :    is the sweet, unnoticed boy mentally chalenged? ( 2 Answers ) View All
  1. Answer  :    not he boy is not mental challenged but his eyes are full of dream and he find his interest looking at the squrriel's fight Sunday, June 16, 2013
  1. Answer  :    No He is just full of hope and dreams of playing the squirrel's game (i.e. Playing in open fields in the lap of nature) Friday, February 22, 2013
  1. Answer   Question  :    what does the poet want for the children of the slum?how can there lives be made to change? ( 2 Answers ) View All
  1. Answer  :    the poet want that the slum children should get the ride of their dull and dreary rut of the school.They should be provided the opportunities to experience joys and beauty of the world out side their slum.They should experience life in the lap of nature,discover its joy and accumulate its wealth of knowledge. Sunday, September 01, 2013
  1. Answer  :    the poet wants the children of the slum to get equality and a good education so that they can get a better future .. Wednesday, February 20, 2013
  1. Answer   Question  :    the walls of the classroom are decorated with the picture of shakespeare building with domes,world map and beautiful valleys how do these contrast with the world of these childrens? ( 2 Answers ) View All
  1. Answer  :    the wall of class is decorated with the picture of Shakespeare building with domes ,world map and beautiful valley but children are did not know about them they think that Shakespeare is wicked. Friday, June 21, 2013
  1. Answer  :    because the children still are not aware of the real world outside, for them its jus their playgound,houses,their frnds and families and all that they can see is their world. Friday, May 18, 2012
  1. Answer   Question  :    what do you thinkthe colour of sour cream?why do you think the poet has used this expressions to describe the classroom wals? ( 2 Answers ) View All
  1. Answer  :    sour cream represents something old i.e. the walls have not been painted for years Monday, September 24, 2012
  1. Answer  :    sour cream just as the name sujests the classroom walls are dull boring and adds up a very boring climate for the students to study in there.... and also that the class room is not maintainedwell and kept unhijenic. Friday, May 18, 2012
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  1. 1. nkb

    nothin

    its too bad

    1 Rating Tuesday, May 17, 2011
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